Opera Software this morning announced that it has released its latest mobile browser for smartphones, Opera Mobile, to operators and OEMs. The software is now available directly for distributors on Android for the first time (note: not for consumers), and as usual also for Windows Mobile, Symbian/S60 and BREW smartphones.
The distributor version of Opera Mobile includes the Norwegian company’s new, cross-platform UI framework, which fits right into its strategy to unify the look and feel of its mobile browsers. Essentially, the framework allows operators and OEMs to implement the same user experience across their entire range of handsets.
Opera Software says 135 million smartphones running Opera Mobile have been shipped globally to date by a wide variety of handset makers and carriers.
The new user-interface framework is built on top of the core browser engine and enables OEMs and operators to “build once, deploy everywhere” across platforms and handsets. The addition of an Android version is particularly interesting, although it’s surprising that the company says it is not considering the release of a mass-consumer version of Opera Mobile for Android phones because of the ‘platform’s limitations’.
That said, its other mobile browser product, Opera Mini, has had an Android version since November 2008. We’ve also just learned that the Android version of Opera Mini 5 will be available for mass consumer download ‘soon’, although the company declined to confirm a date at this point.